Kelley Heckart's Blog - Posts Tagged "goddess"

I love vampires and wanted to have one in one of my books, but the only vampires I seem to see in fiction are the Dracula/European type vampires. I think Ann Rice traced her vampires back to ancient Egypt, which I thought was an intriguing idea. So I wanted to do something different and create a fictional vampire different from other vampire stories. Vampire lore has been around for centuries and every culture has a vampire-like creature so I had many to choose from.

After doing some research, I decided to go with a vampire known in ancient Greece. My story is set in sixth century Scotland and I decided to have my heroine cursed by the Levite priests (during the time of Saul) for worshipping the Great Goddess and forced to live for an eternity as a Lamia, half-woman, half-serpent. According to legend, the Lamia were named after Libyan Queen Lamia and were exclusively female vampires. They were also known to have the power to shapeshift into beautiful young maidens to attract and seduce young men. Lamia are also associated with Lilith, the first wife of Adam. I felt this type of vampire worked for my story and created conflict between my hero and heroine because he is Christian and she follows the Old Religion of the Great Goddess.

My vampire character's hunger is satisfied by sexual pleasure and blood, something I call the 'bloodlust.' She also has black, bat-like wings, which she can open or hide with a simple spell. The name I gave her reflects her transformation into a blood drinker. While reading The White Goddess, I came across Cardea, a Roman form of The White Goddess. She was a witch who snatched children and sucked their blood. This Cardea sounded evil so I transformed her into a lustful creature instead of one who enjoyed destroying children. I didn't want my heroine to be perceived as evil. Plus, being cursed, she could not control her need for blood, but she still possessed some human emotions. Mainly, I fell in love with the exotic name and wanted her to have a Greek/Roman sounding name. Since she was cursed to be a vampire, she cannot make other vampires and fire is her greatest enemy because the Levite priests worshipped fire.
Below is an excerpt from Cat's Curse.

AD 564, Alba

The hunt called to her, singing in her veins. Moonbeams cleaved through the frozen night, striking the earth between outstretched branches like gleaming metal blades. Cold air cut into her bones with sharp, icy talons, reminding her she had once been mortal. Venturing further into the thick forest of tall pine, oak, beech, birch and rowan, Cardea's booted feet crunched on the frost-encrusted earth, her senses searching out the sweet scent of blood.

A sharp sound roared on the black wings of night. Something stirred in the forest, waking slumbering birds in a nearby wide-branched tree. Wings fluttered far above her head, breaking the silence of the night followed by a man's deep voice echoing in the night, sounding like a thread of angry curses.

A pleased smile formed on Cardea’s lips. The strong scent of blood stirred her senses--warm blood…and human. Like an experienced predator, she adjusted her step, moving on silent feet through carpets of fern toward the scent of fresh blood, eager to sate her thirst. She moved like a shadow, darting in and out of the lofty trees.

Another sound stirred the hushed, sleeping wood. Something moved toward her through the forest at a fast pace, crunching leaves and twigs beneath pounding feet. Cardea stopped in her tracks, her body shimmering into the shadows.

The baying of hounds tore through the night.

She froze. Fear struck her like a resounding hammer blow. Could they be demon hunters coming for me? Demon hunters used hounds because animals could sense her even when she became one with the shadows. In her haste to hunt the human, she failed to notice the scent of hounds. Before she could react, two hounds the size of calves had her pinned to the ground, stunned. They licked her face, showering her face with drool.

A man’s deep voice shouted out a command for the dogs to back off. Cardea sputtered, struggling to get the slavering beasts off her.

“Fian, Donnan!” The two hounds backed off, obeying their master’s stern command.

Cardea pushed on her arms to sit up and faced the sharp edge of a sword blade, the sight of which made her draw in a sharp breath and remain still. The splash of pale moonlight revealed a man with long black hair standing over her, his great height matching a towering oak, his arms thick and muscled as oak branches.

“I would not move if I were ye, lass.” The man’s thick brogue washed over her, sweet and honey-like.

'Timeless tales of romance, conflict and magic'

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Published on July 15, 2009 18:46 • 138 views • Tags: ann, dracula, goddess, greek, heckart, kelley, lamia, medieval, rice, scotland, vampire, vampires, white